If an offshore helideck does not meet the criteria in CAP 437, or if a change to the helideck environment is proposed, it is recommended that the case should be referred to us in the first instance to enable us to provide guidance and information on behalf of the helicopter operators so that the process for authorising the use of the helideck can be completed in a timely fashion.

Early consultation with the HCA is essential if maximum helicopter operational flexibility is to be realised and incorporated into the installation design philosophy. It is important that changes are not restricted to consideration of the physical characteristics and obstacle protected surfaces of the helideck. Of equal, and sometimes even more importance, are changes to the installation or vessel, and to adjacent installation or vessel structures which may affect the local atmospheric environment over the helideck (and adjacent helidecks) or on the approach and take-off paths. In the case of 'New-Builds' or major modifications to existing installations that may have an effect on helicopter operations, the CAA has published guidance on Helideck Design Considerations in CAA Paper 2004/02, which is available to assist with the interpretation and the application of criteria stated in CAP 437.